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Philippe Starck
...and his high tech Paramount hotel

Welcome to New York - welcome to the city where the sky's the limit here. I want to show you just how true this is. A great example to start with is Philippe Starck and the hotel he has designed there. A few years ago the French architect and furniture designer was well known only to the avant-garde design community when President François Mitterrand selected one of his chairs for the private quarters of the Elysée Palace and then commissioned additional pieces from him. Today Starck is the reigning superstar of French design, with commissions all over the world.

New York City...Broadway Avenue. We enter a classic among the design hotels: the "Paramount" - a centre of some times startling innovation for guests tired of standard comfort. By bye TV cabinet and fitted wardrobes! The Oriade furniture, Phillipe Starck's own design, lend the hotel an almost model setting. With the reopening of the totally remodeled and refurbished Paramount in Manhattan, Starck's furniture and interior architecture has found a new audience-the style-conscious New York hotel guest. Located directly on New York 's , they provide the ideal stage for many !

Starck is convinced that he can "breathe soul into things" the way he creates and presents his designs.

Phillipe Starck
My designs are not intended simply to reflect quality of life in the form of a hotel. I also want to conjure up a picture of New York , communicate its crazy atmosphere. Naturally, the most important thing is that the guests feel happy, but just to build him a pied-a-terre and give him a temporary home has never been enough for me.

Your love to detail is legendary. I know that every little thing has a meaning ...

Phillipe Starck
Yes, I want to provide the people with more information. The guest should be integrated into the new location, be able to identify with it. That is how I began to select the materials: So, when the floor in the hotel is green, then it is meant to reflect the original glacier-green base on which New York has grown up. And look around: The furniture is made of mahogany, because it is meant to remind people of the ships that brought the first settlers to the USA .

And the wavy, serpentine lines which occasionally appear are intended to symbolise the reoccurring waves of immigrants. One could also compare them to those ethnic minorities slithering miserably through the darkness of New York , always on the lookout for a way to escape and come out into the light. I want to provide my guests with information in my own individual way, so that it helps them to better understand the place where they are staying.

The 610-room "Paramount" is inexpensive despite its lavish design. From 150 dollars you can experience a completely different side of New York. Phillipe Starck's second masterpiece on New York's Broadway Avenue is the Royalton Hotel. The hotel is owned by Steve Rubell, Ian Schrager (who earned a name for himself during the '80's with his disco "Studio 54"), Philip Pilevsky and Arthur Cohen. Like Ruben and Schrager's first hotel venture, Morgans, which opened years ago with decor by the internationally acclaimed interior designer Andrée Putman, the Royalton was imagined as a high-style home away from home. The bathrooms, many equipped with circular tubs, are indeed unlike ordinary or even luxurious hotel bathrooms. Fitted out with multiple mirrored walls and built-in glass countered vanity tables and stainless steel sinks, they are likely to satisfy the most demanding bathroom connoisseur. And if you're in Miami, try the hotel Delano, too!

If one is going to London to experience a typical Philippe Starck oasis, there is really only a choice of two hotels to stay: the St Martin's Lane Hotel (which he designed in 1999) or the Sanderson Hotel, an ultra-stylish hotel on chic Berners Street just just off Oxford Street (2000). It immediately became famous for its "red lips" sofas. Dreamscapes are painted on the ceilings above silver-leaf sleigh beds draped with pashminas. Bathrooms are behind glass walls.

But hotels are just a small piece of his cake: Phillipe Starck feels that there are a lot of household things that people like to hide, such as toothbrushes, toilet brushes, chairs etc - so he has decided to produce elegance in daily life. This also includes lifestyle items such as computer mouses or motor cycles...

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Phillipe Starck
We have too much of everything. Even though I am involved in thousands of projects I have no desire to 'add something more' - but only to make them better. I feel very sad for 'design victims'. If people live in a contemporary way, they will think in a more lively manner and understand what's happening today.

A master marketer of himself and his own designs, Starck has achieved about the closest you can come to star status in the design world. He also likes sharing his furniture designs with a large audience - not just French presidents or people of privilege.

Website Philippe Starck



* This special feature "Designer Philippe Starck" has been one of more than 200 VIP-Portraits, produced by Nathalie Gütermann for her TV-Shows 'Nathalie's Lifestyle' and 'Nathalie's Art of Living' that were broadcasted between 1990 - 2003 in Germany and in 15 countries world-wide. The content has been updated with actual information in 2004 for © 1990 - 2004. The reproduction or other use of any text, photographs, etc. needs the prior written permission of the Chief Publisher.

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